There is a house that has an avocado tree in the front. I got a call about 3 years ago, they had bees living in the base of the tree. She wanted to know if she could leave them. I told her how to keep people safe and the bees happy. She calls about twice a year for me to pick up a swarm that comes from the hive in the tree. She doesn’t want to remove the bees in the tree because she has never gotten so many avocados before, and the neighbors are getting mangos like crazy. As long as the hive in the tree survives she will be calling me.
We got a call on Saturday morning. The guy said he had bees on his tree. He wanted them removed, but he was very clear that he did not want them killed. He said he saw many bee removal services, but ours was the only one that said we do live removals. Before he would give me his address his wife wanted to make absolutely sure we wouldn’t kill them. This time of year we didn’t expect a large swarm, we were pleasantly surprised. These are calm gentle bees, just the kind we need.
Sometimes bees get into places that scare people. This is the case. They called and said they had bees under the trailer they use as a construction office. At first he wanted to kill the bees, but then thought better of it. He realized he can’t keep killing bees and have all the fruits and veggies too. This was kind of a tight space, and I didn’t have Penny to help. But they all got into the box without much trouble and the guy was happy.
The woman said she had bees in a bush, it was about 4 feet up. She asked how much I would charge to remove them. I told her it would be $100 a foot. There was silence on the other end, then I told her I was kidding. She took the joke and laughed. We went and collected the bees. I should have charged her more because it was o hot as soon as I put my suit on, I was drenched!
Most times when people call and say they have bees, they say the swarm is huge. When I get there it is a handful of bees. This time it wasn’t just a handful. She told me they were in the smoker. She didn’t know how big they were, just that there seemed to be a lot of them. I knew they were big because of the activity. 1 cup will hold 900 bees. I must have scooped out at least a quart or more. When I got home I put them in a full sized hive because there were so many. We shall see how they do.
The guy called and asked how much I would charge to remove bees from a box. I told him I would have to see the box 1st. When we got there he showed us the “box”. It used to be used to hold chicken keeping equipment. I opened it and was surprised to see the whole box was full of comb and bees. The panels must have been three feet long by 18 inches wide. There wasn’t much brood, and the comb was dark brown to black, so we knew it was old. We were able to pull 13 lbs of honey out of it. We put them in a nuc but are going to move them very soon because they are too big to stay in that small box.
When bees are behind and electrical box we have to stop and tell the people they need an exterminator. That is what happened with these bees. The owner of the house is an astronomy professor for the Univ. of Hawaii. He and his wife are from Germany. Most people won’t get anywhere near the bees, but he was right up there looking at them and putting his nose right up there. I’m surprised he didn’t get stung. We tried to find a way to the bees, but alas we couldn’t. He said the exterminator who had come out before us charged him $250 and didn’t do anything. I advised him to call them back and get them to do their job. They were the nicest people.
We had about 15 nucs on our lanai. We had to move some, so on Sat. morning moving day came. We loaded up the truck with 5 nucs, covered them and took them to spots where they can grow and thrive. When working with bees they get every where, even on your okole. All of these nucs were from swarms we have caught. We are proud that we have saved as many bees as we have.
This swarm was at the TOP of the mountain! When she called and said she was on the upper side of the mountain I didn’t think she meant at the top. Her street started as a 4 lane divided road, then went down to two lanes, then down to one lane with cars parked on either side of the road. When we pulled up to the house the neighbors came out and asked if we were the bee people. Then neighbors from several houses nearby came out and watched. Penny, my wife, explained what we were doing and how we save bees. She also gave them a short bee 101 class.